This rant was written by blogger and Yelp addict Nick Nadel.
Yelp is a tremendously useful source for amatuer reviews of restaurants, bars, restaurant/bars, and just about anyplace where human beings go and do stuff. But read enough Yelp reviews written by picky trolls, and certain patterns start to emerge. Annoying patterns. Let’s take a look at the ten dumbest things Yelpers do.
1.) Review national landmarks
We were on the fence about the beloved landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Griffith Observatory, and Central Park until some Yelper gave them five stars. Of Central Park, Steven H. opines: “What can I say about this place that has not been said?!” He then goes on to write several paragraphs of things that have previously been said about one of NYC’s most famous landmarks.
Meanwhile, user Dave H. writes of the Liberty Bell, “There's little to see beyond the bell.” Burn! Democracy just got served. And here’s Emmie N.’s justification for her two-star review of the Seattle Space Needle: “From the outside, I thought the landmark is so ugly LOL.”
But the creepiest Yelp page has to be the one for Ground Zero, which inexplicably only scores four-out-of-five stars. As Yelper Jen B. explains, “Too be honest, I don't even know how to rate this.” And yet people do. Constantly.
2.) Complain about the lack of vegetarian options at a BBQ restaurant
From the Yelp page for NYC’s Hill Country Chicken: “Not many veg options.” Wait, you’re saying a restaurant with the word “chicken” in its freaking name is lacking in non-meat dishes?? To be fair, we’ve also seen Yelpers moaning about the lack of options for carnivores at veggie places. Stupidity is a two-way street.
3.) Constantly throw around the word “hipster”
There’s nothing hipsters enjoy more than complaining about how their hipster brethren have ruined their favorite dive bar. Witness this review for Brooklyn’s Union Pool: “Your pants cost more than my iPad…How do you pay your rent, you hipster swine?” Or this take on DC’s Wonderland Ballroom, which rips on two hated types of bar patrons without actually reviewing the bar in question: “Worse than a bar full of hipsters. A bar full of yuppies posing as hipsters.” Did you know that “hipster” is a category on Yelp? You can dismiss an establishment based entirely on its skinny jeans-wearing, PBR-swilling clientele with one click!
4.) Review chain restaurants
Kristen S. writes of a certain quaint little Mom-and-Pop restaurant, “It's McDonald's, so you know what to expect.” Indeed, Kristen! Billions of dollars in food science research has gone into ensuring that every single McDonald’s on the planet is exactly the same. Thanks for reminding us of this not-at-all obvious fact. Though we do approve of one user’s ringing endorsement of the Golden Arches: “I shouldn't be eating this stuff but hey.” That pretty much sums up every experience we’ve ever had at the house that Ray Kroc built.
5.) Downgrade a restaurant or bar for random reasons
Many Yelpers will have an excellent experience at a restaurant or bar only to dock it a star based on something completely out of the staff’s control. Take Lin N.’s justification for why she didn’t give the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare five stars: “There was a woman who was standing stiffly like a guard against the wall the whole time, which was a bit awkward.”
6.) Whine about how four-star restaurants are too pricey
We get it: Dining out is expensive. The economy is still circling the drain and you want the best bang for your buck. But don’t go to an elegant restaurant expecting to get out of there for under a Jackson. Take user Michael P., who calls NYC’s Per Se, famous for its $300 tasting menu, “grossly overpriced.” Those little dollar signs on the reviews aren’t for show, people.
7.) Show up after a place is closed and give it one star
Actually, this one is understandable. It’s not like there’s a vast “Web” of information on which the person could search to find the hours of said restaurant or bar. Or maybe, say, check what time the place closes on the very page where they’re penning their angry review.
8.) Include their life story in a review about a falafel place
Nobody cares that you majored in culinary arts or that the waiter looked like a young Ted Danson. Tell us how the food was or GTFO. We would link to an example of this, but it happens on literally every Yelp page.
9.) Review somewhere they’ve never been
Peruse any Yelp page long enough, and you’ll eventually find some dumb Yelper who gave a hot restaurant one star because they couldn’t get in when they showed up on a Saturday night without a reservation or a user who slams a bar just because they hear it attracts douchebags. Or sometimes they’ll just straight up admit to never sampling the establishment’s wares. This is exactly how Gaurav S. kicks off his three-star review of Toronto’s Joe Mamas: “Disclaimer – I haven't eaten here yet!” So why should we read your several paragraphs long review? Reviewing something you’ve never experienced is frowned upon pretty much everywhere expect Yelp. What if a movie critic slammed “Transformers 3” sight unseen entirely based on the previous two installments? Actually, that’s not a terrible assumption, but you get our point.
10.) Complain about loud music at a club
Here’s Yelper Andrius A on LA’s King King: “The music was way too loud for me at one point.” Indeed, clubs do play loud music! Anything else to add? Maybe something about the décor or the quality of the cocktails? No? You’re going with the “music was too loud in a place specifically designed for loud music” angle? Carry on then.
11.) Review sperm banks
What’s dumber than a Yelp entry for a sperm bank? A Yelp entry for a sperm bank riddled with hack jokes. Take it away, user John Q.: “This is my favorite place to make withdrawals.” We won’t even dignify that one with a rimshot.
12.) Review Google and other Websites
Yes, Yelpers have decided to use the page for Google’s San Francisco corporate headquarters to profess their love for everyone’s favorite search engine. User Thuy T, who is definitely not a spambot, raves, “I love Google! Free email and you can chat with your Gmail buddies too!” But some Yelpers want people looking for reviews of Google’s cafeteria to know how they feel about the general slowness of Gmail. As Edgar M. threatens, “I intend to drop Google from my computer.” Harsh words! Meanwhile, other angry idiots have left reviews for eHarmony, Amazon, Match, and tons of other sites that have no business being on Yelp.